Friday, August 31, 2012

LUSH Enchanted Eye Cream Review

           What happens after Cinderella marries the prince and they live happily ever after? She starts planning for the long haul and gets a skincare regimen, of course. (Inner beauty lasts forever, but our outer beauty can use a little help along the way). Her fairy godmother would probably whip up an enchanted eye cream full of lavender water, honey, and jojoba oil to keep her eyes looking young and fresh. Fortunately, the rest of us can pop into a LUSH and get our own bottle of just that. LUSH Enchanted Eye Cream is filled with gentle natural ingredients to treat the delicate eye area. Lavender honey water soothes and reduces swelling, while cold pressed almond and jojoba moisturize. I usually take half a pump onto my ring finger and then pat gently around my eye. I appreciate it when eye products are formulated to be used in pump form; it's more hygienic, which is important when working around the eye area. The lotion-like texture of LUSH Enchanted Eye Cream is moisturizing but not heavy. It sinks in quickly without a greasy residue and can therefore be used both morning and night. It's nice because I prefer my eye creams to be lighter, since I still have some youth on my side; I like to let my skin produce  some of its own natural oils, as opposed to overwhelming it with a rich cream. For those who prefer a richer night cream, Enchanted Eye Cream is a nice daytime option that would work well under makeup.

          LUSH Enchanted Eye Cream ($25.95 for 1.5oz.) is beauty sleep in a bottle, for those of us who don't have a fairy godmother or the time to be a Sleeping Beauty. It has short list of quality ingredients that I can feel good about. I'm definitely a fan and have already worked Enchanted Eye Cream into my daily routine. Thanks for reading! Have you tried LUSH Enchanted Eye Cream or any other LUSH skincare? What are your favorite eye creams?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. The Barbie in this post was one from my childhood; she's twenty years older and still looking good!

Ingredients: Lavandula Augustifolia Extract, Honey, Aqua, Stearic Acid, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) oil, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Triethanoloamine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Simply Vera Vera Wang Transforming Eyeshadow Duo review + swatches

          Today I have my two Simply Vera Vera Wang Transforming Eyeshadow Duos to share with you. Simply Vera is a new line of cosmetics carried exclusively at Kohls. Much like Vera Wang's Style, the colors are soft, feminine, and modern. The palettes are named with numbers; the two I have today are #404 and #410.
         The circular black packaging of the Simply Vera Vera Wang Transforming Eyeshadow duo is a reminiscent of Giorgio Armani's eyeshadow palettes, which I like. The closure is snap and not magnetic like Armani's. There is a eyeshadow applicator included. While it might be practical to throw in your bag and go, I never use included applicators; used applicators look messy, don't seem hygienic. I wish they had done without it; it would have seemed more luxe.  The amount of shadow included is 0.07 oz total. For reference, one MAC shadow is 0.05 oz.
          Both of my eyeshadow duos have one matte color and one shimmery color. In fact, the eyeshadows aren't truly shimmery; they're more like matte shadows with sparkles mixed in. When worn, the sparkles are subtle and will disappear over time. (I only speak for the shadows I have; I believe other shadows in the line may be true shimmers or frosts). The eyeshadow textures were smooth and blendable. The consistency of the shadows was medium to firm, so it takes a couple swipes to get the right amount of color.

          Both duos have beautiful and wearable colors. Simply Vera eyeshadow duo in #404 is a light beige paired with a warm brown with gold sparkles. Simply Vera eyeshadow duo in #410 is a lilac pink paired with a dusty rose pink with silver sparkles.

         I've swatched the Simply Vera Vera Wang Transforming eyeshadow duos below. When swatched, Simply Vera eyeshadow duo #404 looks  a little different than it does in the pan. The light peach beige looks more like a medium malt color, while the warm brown looks deeper and less sparkly. I actually like the transformation; it's a very wearable combination. Simply Vera eyeshadow duo #410 is more true to color with the lilac and rose pink pairing. While both colors in #410 are pretty pinks, they are quite similar, and you do not get as much utility out of the duo.

          Overall, the Simply Vera Vera Wang Transforming Eyeshadow Duos ($19.50 for 0.07oz). that I have are sophisticated colors with nice texture. I especially love #404 and have worn it a number of times already; the two colors pair well to make an everyday eye with a bit of depth. The quality of the eyeshadow color and texture is there, however the drawbacks are the inclusion of a cheap applicator, the relatively small amount of eyeshadow provided, and the the misleading appearance of the glitter in the pan. Overall, the Simply Vera eyeshadows are a good product; I think it could have been a hit if they had been priced just a tad less! Thanks for reading! Have you tried the Simply Vera eyeshadows? What do you think of the packaging and colors?

Love, Dovey.

Orlane Super Moisturizing Light Cream review

          When I think of French beauty, one thing comes to mind: beautiful skin. Much of the best skincare comes from France and luxury skincare brand Orlane Paris has been a leader in this tradition since the 1940's. Recently, I had the chance to experience the Orlane Super Moisturizing Light Cream, a facial cream that was inspired by hyaluronic acid esthetic injection techniques. The hyaluronic acid is thought to replump the epidermis and encourage release of moisturizing molecules and cell renewal. The cream also has aquatic plant extracts to help retain and redistribute water.

         True to its name, I found the Orlane Super Moisturizing Light Cream to be both light and very moisturizing. The name seems paradoxical, as light creams tend to have ephemeral moisturizing capacity, while moisturizing creams tend to have a heavy feel. Somehow, the Orlane Super Moisturizing Light cream combined the best of both worlds. The Orlane Super Moisturizing Light Cream is dispensed from a pump and has more of a lotion feel, rather than a cream feel. The consistency of  the moisturizer is very light and like a gel lotion. It spreads easily over the skin and sinks in quickly so you feel as if it will disappear. However, if you touch the surface of your skin, you can feel the smooth plush surface of the moisturizer barrier that is protecting your skin. The result is long-lasting, comfortable, and effortless moisturized skin. The Orlane Super Moisturizing Light Cream is an absolute delight to wear and serves as a great base for makeup too.

          The Orlane Super Light Moisturizing Serum ($165 for 1.7 oz) is sold online and at Nieman Marcus. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Orlane Paris? Are any of their products on your wish list? What are some of your favorite French skincare brands?

Love, Dovey.
Ingredients: Aqua (water), Glycerin, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Caprylic/Capcric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, C12-16 Alcohols, Nylon-12, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Palmitic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternuium-51, Propylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Hydrolyzed Soy Flour, Hydrolyzed What Protein, Parfum (Fragrance), Carbomer, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, O-Cymen-5-Ol, Sorbitol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Panthenol, Bambusa Vulgaris extract, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower extract, Nymphaea Alba flower extract, Hyaluronic acid, Silanetriol, Chlorohexidine Digluconate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben.
Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own

Monday, August 27, 2012

Illamasqua powder blusher in Disobey review + swatches

           With a name like 'Disobey', Illamasqua powder blusher in Disobey sounds like it's up to some mischief. And indeed, it is. If you take a look at the pan, you might wonder what a bronzer is doing in a blush lineup! That said, I'm not one to judge a box by its cover, so I gladly picked up this bronzer blush for use in face contouring.

         The Illamasqua blush is packaged in the typical black plastic warped square packaging. If you hold your Illamasqua blush in the sun, you can see a cool prismatic effect.

         Illamasqua powder blusher in Disobey has the smooth texture that I've come to expect from Illamasqua products. Another draw for me is that Illamasqua's powder blusher has a different ingredient formula from typical blushes. Most powder blush and bronzer formulas cause me to break out, and I'm always searching for one that won't. If you're interested in the ingredient list, Illamasqua is one of the few companies that openly lists them on their website (thank you).

         As I mentioned before, Illamasqua powder blusher in Disobey looks much like a bronzer. It's a soft matte golden brown as you can see from the swatch below. It looks quite similar to NARS Bronzer in Laguna from the swatch below, though you can see that Laguna has shimmer and is a bit more yellow and less peach than Illamasqua Disobey. Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay Shimmer Blush in Buff is another blush that looks quite brown  and bronzer-like in the pan. However, you can see it looks more orange and less tan than Illamasqua Disobey.

          I'm looking forward to incorporating Illamasqua powder blusher in Disobey into my routine. It is a bit lighter than a traditional bronzer (maybe that's why it classifies as a blush), however it has some contouring capacity. It would show up best on lighter skin tones and I think it will be more evident on my winter skin. Other than wishing Disobey was a tad darker, I have no complaints. It's a great product. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Illamasqua Disobey? Do you think it's a blush or a bronzer? What are your favorite contouring products?

Love, Dovey.

Skin Authority Giveaway winner

The winner of my Skin Authority Clear Skin Kit Giveaway is.... Larie of Eye Heart It! Congratulations Larie, I hope you enjoy your new skincare! Thank you to all those who entered and to Skin Authority for providing the prize. Be sure to stay tuned; I have another giveaway coming up soon!

Love, Dovey.

LUSH Skin's Shangri-La face moisturizer review

Shangri-La (noun): a remote, beautiful place where life approaches perfection*

           With a name like LUSH Skin's Shangri-La, one can't help but imagine a product that will take your skin to a enlightened, harmonious state. And indeed, it does. LUSH Skin's Shangri-La was an unlikely fit for me, since this moisturizer is marketed for 'mature faces.' (For the record, I'm in my twenties and have combination skin). However, after sampling nearly all of LUSH's facial moisturizers, I found this to be the best fit. LUSH Skin's Shangri-La left my face feeling so comfortable and well rested that I knew it was the one. 

          Skin's Shangri-La is LUSH's richest moisturizer and boasts an ingredient list that includes Queen of Hungary water (a decoction of rosemary and vodka), Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba oil, and Aloe. (I've included to complete ingredient list below so you can check out all the good stuff.) While it does contain richer ingredients, it did not break out my acne-prone skin. The reason is that oils like sweet almond and jojoba are typically skin friendly and non-pore clogging, just like your natural oils. If anything, proper (and even rich) moisturization after a good cleanse can stop excess oil formation since the skin senses that it already has been adequately protected. It may seem paradoxical, but it works for me! LUSH Skin's Shangri-La also has a comforting smell, which to me resembles light cocoa butter and vanilla. When I apply LUSH Skin's Shangri-La, my skin gets a slightly warm sensation, as if it's being wrapped in a comforting blanket. The consistency of the cream is quite rich, and very little is required for each application. One tub should last a long time. Because LUSH Skin's Shangri-La is a richer cream, I prefer to use it as a night cream or as a day cream during the winter.

          Overall, LUSH Skin's Shangri-La facial moisturizer ($49.95 for 1.5oz.) deserves a utopian name. It took me a long time to find my fit, but my skin couldn't be happier. All in all, the moral of this story is that it's worth taking the time to find a good skincare fit. The sales associates at LUSH are friendly and knowledgeable about their skincare line and will usually provide a sample (or two) of the moisturizer you're interested in. It's worth a try and you might be surprised at what you find! Thanks for reading! Have you tried any LUSH moisturizers? Do you have a favorite? Do you typically sample face creams before purchase?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. The pretty paper cutout was a gift from a coworker from China!

Ingredient List: Queen of Hungary's Water (Aqua, Vodka & Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare Extract, Fucus Gardneri Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Lanolin, Triethanolamine, Beeswax, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Viola Odorata Leaf Extract, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Linalool, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
*from Merriam Webster online
**Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August Sephora VIB gift with purchase

         Every August Sephora offers a nice gift with purchase event for their VIBs. They usually offer several minis for a $35 purchase. I thought I'd share a quick snapshot of what was offered this year. Most of the samples were minis not deluxe sizes. There were two mini primers: Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer and Benefit the Porefessional. Primers seem to be typical inclusions with gift with purchases, as companies seem to be keen to market them. The heavy amounts of silicones in primers simply don't agree with me, so I'll likely be giving these away. Two quality samples that I'll be happy to use are  Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara and the L'Occitane Hand Creme. I've tried Hanae Mori Eau de Toilette sample before and it's a pleasant scent. I've reviewed the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel previously (see here), and it's another nice offering. There are also two moisturizers: the Sephora Instant Moisturizer and Algenist Overnight Restorative Cream. I don't really know much about either, however I guess I can use them for myself or on the Mr. And of course, everything came in a silver pouch. Overall the samples were decent for the buy-in level, especially considering some of the paltry gift with purchase offerings I've seen from department stores at even the $100+ level. They're recognizable brands and I'll be able to use a few of them for fun. Lately my philosophy on gift with purchase has been changing. While I might have been easily enticed in the past, I only indulge if I have a burning wishlist or if the gift has samples I'm really excited about. How about you? Did you jump for Sephora's VIB gift this year? Do you typically purchase during gift with purchase events or as the need arises?

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tarte 12-hour Amazonian Clay Shimmering blush in Glisten review + swatches

           Tarte 12 hour Amazonian Clay Shimmering Blush in Glisten is a pink sunrise shimmer that imparts a fresh morning glow to the cheeks. Glisten is one of four shimmering shades that were introduced as a followup to Tarte's popular 12-hour Amazonian Clay Blush line.

         Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Glisten is packaged in the color-coordinated plastic packaging that is typical of the Amazonian Clay Line. The Tarte logo is raised in the plastic itself. The packaging isn't quite luxe, but it is cheerful and makes it easy to figure out which color is housed inside. The pan is embossed with a representative image of what I assume is the amazon river.

          As its name suggests, Tarte 12-hour Amazonian Clay Shimmering Blush in Glisten is a long lasting blush. Whether or not the blush will last the specified twelve hours is debatable and depends on what kind of foundation, primer, and skin you have. The blush is also quite pigmented and the pan's texture seems to be fairly firm, not soft. The embossed image seems pretty hardy and should last through several uses.

          Tarte Amazonian Clay Shimmering Blush in Glisten is the quintessential shimmery peachy pink. It turns out that I have various iterations of the same color in my collection. Tarte Glisten seems to be most similar in color to NARS Deep Throat blush, though it is a bit more pink and less peach. NARS Orgasm is even more peach with a golden sheen. Laura Mercier Sweet Mandarin is a bit darker and more coral. Chantecaille Coral (from The Coral Reefs palette) is lighter and more peach. Overall, Glisten is a tad more pink than the rest of the peachy pink colors in my collection.

         Overall, I think Tarte 12-hour Amazonian Clay Shimmering Blush in Glisten is a beautiful blush. Every girl needs a peachy pink like this in her collection; that said, you may find that you already have a similar color in your collection! Thanks for reading! Have you tried any of the Tarte Amazonian Clay shimmering blushes? Do you have any favorite Amazonian Clay blush colors? What are your favorite peachy pinks?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

LUSH Dirty Body Spray + Dirty Springwash Shower Gel review

         This weekend, my family and I took a trip to Cuyahoga National Park. It was absolutely wonderful to get out of the city and experience the fresh and organic sights and sounds of nature. However, after a muggy day on the trails with two guys and a dog, 'nature' kicks in and things are bound to get smelly. Add in an overnight camp, and I have to call in help from LUSH Dirty Body Spray and LUSH Dirty Springwash Shower Gel.

Hiking on the trails of Cuyahoga National Park
          The LUSH Dirty range of products were developed and fragranced especially for men.  LUSH Dirty Body Spray was developed with busy explorers of both urban and suburban jungles in mind. When one has no time or means (ex. camping) to freshen up, a spritz of LUSH Dirty Body spray will help combat unwanted odors. The spray contains sandalwood to combat unwanted odors, the 'Dirty' scent of tarragon, lavender, and a hint of spearmint. To me, the Dirty Body Spray has a pleasant manly scent. There is a nice woody base which Mr. Lovey likes, as well as some nice herbal notes. A small spritz conveys a significant amount of scent and it has great lasting power; it lingers for at least a few hours. LUSH Dirty has a very pleasant scent that could double as a personal fragrance.

          When one does have time to hit the showers, LUSH Dirty Springwash Shower Gel scrubs off dirt and grime for a squeaky clean feeling. The shower gel has a beautifully refreshing spearmint scent, along with spearmint and menthol crystals to impart a cool feeling while in a hot shower. The gel lathers well, which is  typical of LUSH shower gels. While LUSH Dirty Springwash Shower was developed for men, the scent is fresh and could be considered unisex. However, it leans a hint too manly for me, so I prefer to leave this for Mr. Lovey's use.

Blue Hen Falls, Cuyahoga National Park. There's a drought, so the flow is smaller than usual!

           For men who want to refresh with fresh from nature scents, LUSH delivers with its Dirty line of products. LUSH Dirty Body Spray ($19 for 6.0 oz) is a quick and easy deodorizing fix, which doubles as a nice personal fragrance. LUSH Springwash Shower Gel delivers a level of fresh minty clean that makes you feel as if you might have bathed in your own personal waterfall. It comes highly recommended. That said, I haven't yet met a LUSH Shower Gel I didn't like! Thanks for reading! Have you or your significant other tried the LUSH Dirty line? What's your favorite LUSH Shower gel? (Mine is currently It's Raining Men). What kind of products or fragrance do you buy for the men in your life?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own

Monday, August 20, 2012

New! Victoria's Secret Love My Body review

         I've got a new way to love my body: Victoria's Secret just unveiled Love My Body, a brand new line of body care products! Love My Body is a fresh and modern take on bodycare complete with simple chic packaging. The four scents are feminine, yet sheer so that one can have more flexibility with scent. One could wear them alone or layered with a favorite fine fragrance. In this sense, the Love My Body line fills a new niche in Victoria's Secret's popular bodycare lines that complements the sensual VS Fantasies line and the flirty PINK line of products. I've tried and tested the different products and fragrances from the brand new Victoria's Secret Love My Body line, so read on to learn more!

          The new Love My Body line is carried in four different scents, each of which has its own mod color coordinated packaging: Grapefruit and Basil (Aqua), Orchid and Bamboo (Pink), Jasmine and Water Lily (Purple), and White Tea and Sage (Peach). Each scent was a fresh and feminine interpretation. Because the scents are lighter and not niche fragrances, I found each easy and pretty to wear. I've written some thoughts about each scent: Grapefruit and Basil is not your typical grapefruit scent. It lacks overt citrus tones and I feel like the basil shines through here. There's a smooth herb-y note without the bitterness of the leaf. It's rounded out with some wateriness from the fruit. Jasmine and Water Lily  is a sweet interpretation of a jasmine floral with some watery notes rounding out the base. It's the sweetest and most overtly feminine of the three scents I tried. Orchid + Bamboo is a light powdery floral that is slightly exotic due to the orchid. It has a mild tones of water from the imagined bamboo s talk. It's more delicate than the other scents, and my current favorite. I didn't have a chance to try White Tea + Sage, but I'm intrigued by the sound of a tea scent.

           Each Love My Body scent is available in a body wash, body oil, body lotion, body cream, and body mist form. The Nearly Nude Body Wash ($12 for 6.7oz) is a creamy bodywash that lathers well. I like the packaging of this product the most; the vibrant aqua blue of my Grapefruit and Basil body wash looks so fun in my shower. There are three different moisturizing products. Indulge Me Body Oil ($12 for 3.4 oz) has the lightest moisturisation and is a fast absorbing dry oil. It contains a blend of Sunflower, Argan, Grapeseed, and Monoi oils (as well as a touch of silicones) that sink in quickly and give the skin a silky smooth feel. The Amazing All Over Body Lotion (15.2 oz for $15) is more of your workhorse everyday lotion that comes in a generous size. It sinks in quickly and leaves the skin fragrant. The pump bottle is convenient too. The Seriously Soft Body Cream ($15 for 6.7 oz) is the richest of the moisturizers. The texture in the tub is firmer and not as oily as some body butters. It spreads and smooths easily and isn't heavy for a body cream. The Can't Resist Body Mist ($8.4 oz for #12) is a way to layer on a little extra fragrance on top of the other products. It's infused with some jojoba and glycerin to add a little refresher to skin.

         Overall,  I found the new Victoria's Secret Love My Body Line accomplishes its concept of being a light, fresh, and feminine bath and body line. It fills a niche for women who want a fragrant body care experience, but don't want to be overwhelmed by a scent's power or complexity. Love My Body scents are light and have the flexibility exist as a subtle base smell or to be paired with a favorite personal fragrance. I could certainly see this becoming one of Victoria's Secret's more popular body care lines due to its broad appeal. Thanks for reading! Have you seen the new Love My Body line in stores yet? Did you have a favorite VS bodycare scent? Do you layer different fragrances on top of scented lotions?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.   

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Camping checklist

          This weekend I'm headed off to go camping near Cuyahoga National Park and thought I'd briefly share the makeup I'm taking with me. I'm trying to pack light since this may only be an overnight trip. In terms of skin and hair care I'm bringing the following products. LUSH No Drought dry shampoo is going to be key! After one day my hair gets so oily, so I need this stuff to look fresh. My mini size Philosophy Purity is always my travel companion due to its size and how much I like the product. I'm bringing Avene Cleanance, which is a light and simple moisturizer and LUSH Enchanted Eye Cream for my eyes. Palmer's Cocoa Butter stick* is always handy and light so that's coming too. It's not too much stuff, right? Right?

          The Simply Vera eyeshadow duo in 404 has been my go-to color for the past few days. It's small, light, and looks beautiful when worn. I'm going to use Benefit Browzings as my brow powder since it comes with little tools that are annoying to use on a regular basis, but good for temporary travel. I've become fond of using MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow in 2E as a thick, smudgy, and very pigmented eyeliner. You've seen Laura Mercier blush in Peach Whisper numerous times this month already. I'm all about matte peach blushes right now. I'm torn as to whether I should subject my NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Santa Fe to the heat of outdoor weather; however it does give me the best look for photos. 3Lab BB Cream* is more practical and has SPF, but it is a little light for my current skin tone. I might layer it underneath. 

          Hopefully this trip will be a success! What are you up to this weekend?

Love, Dovey

 *Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.    

Friday, August 17, 2012

Skin Authority spa skincare review + GIVEAWAY (worth $299!)

          Today I'm excited to share my review of the 'Ritz-y' spa skincare line Skin Authority, as well as offer a phenomenal Skin Authority giveaway prize (valued at $299) to one lucky Cute and Mundane reader! You might not have seen Skin Authority on shelves, but that's the point. They exclusively distribute to retailers that can explain their vision for skincare. Skin Authority is carried at Ritz Carlton spas in the U.S. and Canada, as well as other high end spas nationwide. You might remember that I had my first experience with Skin Authority products at the Dana Hotel and Spa (read about it here). I was so pleased with the results, that I agreed to put down my usual skincare and go on a Skin Authority regimen for three weeks!

          One of the highlights of Skin Authority products is the great customer service that comes with it. I was contacted via email by Carrie, one of Skin Authority's skincare coaches, who gave me a detailed regimen on how to use my products. She also checked in with me throughout the whole process to make sure things were going well.  The products were of high quality and feel; Skin Authority long ago eliminated parabens, dyes, and animal testing. My somewhat finicky skin felt comfortable throughout the process, barring a bad breakout incident with a Skin Authority moisturizer containing sunscreen. (Sunscreen is an important part of any glycolic acid routine, since your skin is more susceptible to the sun). After the incident, Carrie worked out a plan with me where I could use my own physical blocker only sunscreen to continue my glycolic acid clear skin routine and all was well.

          Here, I'll review the Skin Authority products I used, which were targeted towards clearing my acne-prone skin. The Skin Authority Daily Cleanser has a really thick viscous gel-like consistency and has glycolic acid to aid skin turnover. It works easily over the face and gave a very clean, but not stripped feeling. I liked this a lot. The Skin Authority Super-C Serum is a serum I used in the mornings. It's thicker serum with Vitamin C and antioxidants. It's a heavier serum. I love Vitamin C serums and will probably use this to the last drop. The Acne and Oil Control is the major Glycolic Acid containing product that you pat on your face to encourage skin turnover. It's much like a toner. I think this did make a difference in my skin quality. Not all my breakouts disappeared, but it did help. The Skin Authority Vitamin A Cell Renewal is a lotion with retinyl palmitate and other ingredients to encourage cell turnover. And finally, the Tri-Peptide-Hydrator is a moisturizer containing peptides to encourage healthy skin cell growth. I liked how moisturizing it was, and will likely continue to use it, especially as the seasons get cooler. At the end of the three weeks, my skin was in pretty good shape; many breakouts were controlled. However, I still did have a few lingering breakouts here and there, which could be due to hormonal or general sensitivity issues I may have. This is ok, though since I don't expect any one skincare routine to be a magic bullet.

           Overall, I had a positive experience with my Skin Authority experience, and think the products are of high quality. I'm still using the Super-C serum everyday, and will be mixing the other products in with my regular routine. Most of the full-size products I used are found in the Skin Authority Clear Skin Kit (Retail Value $299, seen here), which Skin Authority has generously offered to provide to one lucky Cute and Mundane reader (U.S. and Canada)! Make sure to read the rules and enter using the Rafflecopter Widget below. Good Luck!

Love, Dovey.

Giveaway rules and information: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to readers with U.S. and Canadian addresses. I will randomly pick one eligible winner using the Rafflecopter widget after the conclusion of the giveaway. The winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email with their mailing address, which I will provide to PR for the purposes of mailing the prize. If the winner does not respond, I may pick a new winner. Skin Authority PR will be responsible for sending out the prize. I reserve the right to disqualify an entrant for any reason I see fit. Reasons may include (but are not limited to) false or ambiguous entries (a.k.a. not completing the task you said you did), multiple entries for one person, and accounts suspected to be used solely for the purpose of 'giveaway hunting. Giveaway rules may change without notice. If any changes are made, they will be updated in the blog post and widget.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.    

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quick and Cool

            I've been doing a number of fragrance posts lately, so I thought it would be a good time to sniff the proverbial coffee beans and cleanse my palate with a makeup post. Here are a selection of products I've started to work into my routine.

          For the face, I'm using NARS Sheer Glow in Santa Fe as my summer color. (I finally bought the NARS Foundation pump). I've started using my MAKE UP FOR EVER HD primer underneath, because my foundation wasn't lasting as long as I'd prefer. Primers often make me break out (it's probably the silicone), and I'll have to keep an eye on how much I can get away with without wrecking my skin. Laura Mercier Peach Whisper blush is what I've been pairing with my cooler toned eyeshadows. The matte peach keeps things summery and not too serious. For eyes, I'm favoring cooler tones again as we edge towards fall. Two quick and easy-to-wear cream shadows that are on my vanity include Smashbox 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadow in Stone and Maybelline 24 Hr. Color Tattoo in Audacious Asphalt. I've also been loving the colors of MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow in 4E (a grey taupe) and 20E a rosy taupe (reviewed here*). Because the colors are a little bolder, I've gone back to NARS Coconut Grove eyeshadow (reviewed here) as my brow color since darker eye makeup requires darker brows. Smashbox Blackout eyeshadow has been useful lately for lining.

            Overall, my palette is leaning towards cooler colors using quick and long-wearing cream shadows. Thanks for reading! What tones have you been favoring lately?

Love, Dovey.

*Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

LUSH Gorilla Perfume in Vanillary review

          I've gone bananas vanillas over LUSH Gorilla Perfume in Vanillary. I'm an absolute vanilla fanatic and can oft be found sniffing the Vanilla extract bottle come baking season. The fact that I picked Vanillary as one of my two favorite scents during a blind fragrance chooser test at LUSH is a no-brainer. (My other one favorite was Tuca Tuca). After dreaming about this scent for months, I finally have my own little Vanillary spritzer to share with you today!

         Vanilla is the ultimate gourmand scent. Natural vanilla absolute is mixed with a touch of sandalwood and burnt caramel notes for an absolutely delicious experience. The vanilla is a deeper vanilla, like the one you would get from a real, not synthetic extract. A hint of floral jasmine and tonka bean give femininity to an otherwise foodie scent. What I get overall is a well rounded warm vanilla pudding dessert with a hint of floral. It's delicious and gorgeous rolled into one. Vanillary has good lasting power and seems to develop with my natural warmth. The product is both cruelty free and vegan. It's also worth noting that the long black pen shape of the spritzer is very gorilla guerilla. You could slip it easily into a clutch or pocket for a night out.

        With LUSH Gorilla Perfume in Vanillary, I can have my dessert and smell like it too.  I'll definitely be slipping Vanillary into my purse, especially as the cooler months come in. LUSH Vanillary perfume is available in Spritzer form (shown, $24.95 for 0.3 oz.), as well as a solid and larger 1.0 oz spray. Thanks for reading! Have you tried LUSH Gorilla perfumes or taken the fragrance test? Which are your favorites? Do you like gourmand scents too?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. Cute gorilla is blogger's own :)
 *Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

NEST Fragrances body care collection in Grapefruit review

           Calling all grapefruit lovers! I've found the perfect grapefruit scent that is lush, juicy, green, and floral rolled into one. Grapefruit is one of six luxurious home fragrance scents that have been developed into NEST Fragrance's new body care line. NEST Fragrances is a luxury home fragrance and personal product line founded by Laura Slatkin. (Slatkin and her husband Harry have a legendary reputation for developing home fragrances; you may recognize the name from Slatkin & Co.). NEST fragrances originally carried a line of twelve scented candles and has been expanding its repertoire since. It was an inpouring of requests from fans wanting to luxuriate in these scents year round that lead to the development of NEST Fragrance's body care line, which I'm reviewing today!

            One whiff of NEST Fragrances Grapefruit is like experiencing the reverse birth of a grapefruit, a la Benjamin Button. The fragrance opens with the mellow and sweet tartness of grapefruit. The watery fruit transitions to a water scent which is pulled up through a green stem and into a delicate flower bud. The notes are so fluid and beautiful that the summation should be described as an enhanced grapefruit experience. I go nuts for grapefruit scented anything, and this is absolutely heavenly.

          The quality of the body care products lives up to the beautiful fragrance, with natural plant extracts, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. The NEST Fragrances Grapefruit Body Wash and Body Cream are housed in chic contrasted and coordinated packaging. (Each scent pair has a different color representation). The Grapefruit Body Wash was the perfect combination of creamy and well lathering in the bath. Its ingredient list includes Aloe vera, bamboo water, glycerin, silk protein, and coconut, corn, and oat derived cleansers. The Grapefruit Body Cream contains a luxurious combination of Shea butter, French plum oil, grape seed oil and Jojoba oil for moisture protection and nourishment. It sinks in quickly, but leaves just the right tangible layer of protection at the surface. The NEST Fragrances body care line is a resounding example of the quality one should expect from a luxury bath and body products.

          The NEST Fragrances Body Wash and Body Cream line is also available in the following fragrance ranges: 

Bamboo: Flowering bamboo, white florals, sparkling citrus, and fresh green accords
Moroccan Amber: Moroccan amber, sweet patchouli, heliotrope, bergamot, and eucalyptus
Moss and Mint: Garden mint, apple blossom, muguet, oakmoss, and vetiver
Orange Blossom: Orange blossom, orchid, tiare flower, freesia, tangerine, lemon, and musk
Wasabi Pear: Anjou Pear, fresh, ozonic watery notes, and wasabi
Grapefruit: Pink pomelo grapefruit, watery green nuances, lily of the valley, and coriander blossom

              NEST Fragrances Grapefruit may be one of the most beautiful and sophisticated grapefruit scents I've experienced. I can only imagine how wonderful the other five NEST body care scents must smell (Moss and Mint, I'm looking at you!). NEST Fragrances Body Wash ($28 for 6.7 oz.) and Body Cream (6.7 oz. for $32) are wonderful luxuries for everyday and are available at Nieman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and at Nest Fragrances online. Have you tried NEST Fragrances? Which of the above scents appeal to you most? Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.

 *Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Victoria's Secret Body by Victoria Eau de Parfum review

          A brand new edition of Victoria's Secret Body by Victoria Eau de Parfum is making its way onto shelves this Fall 2012! This lush fruity floral with earthy musk wraps your body in a way that is as soft and sensual as beautiful lingerie.

          I love the modern, clean, and pink packaging of Body by Victoria Eau de Parfum.
The bottle has an elegant length with reflective metal side paneling. The front and back are sandwiched between rectangular acrylic panels that add visual interest, as well as stability to the tall shape. The simple streamlined, yet upwardly balanced shape fits well with the beautiful modern scent inside.

           Victoria's Secret Body by Victoria Eau de Parfum is described as a 'Fresh' scent that is 'Sensual and Stunning. Forever Fresh'. The described notes include:

Top: Mandarin, Peach, Raspberry leaves, Water Blossoms
Mid: Orange Flower, Ginger Lily, Magnolia, Lily of the Valley
Dry Down: Musk, Precious Woods, Sheer Amber, Orris

          I would describe Victoria's Secret Body by Victoria Eau de Parfum as a warm and relaxed fruity floral. As opposed to a bursting flirty floral, it's more like a light warm scent that wants leaning in. There is an order to the notes in this fragrance. It unfolds first with mellow juicy fruits; there is a slight tang of mandarin, rounded out by sweet peach and raspberry. Then you notice the light and warm scent of the lily based floral and a hint of water. The fragrance dries down to a musk and at the very end a very dry wood (like cleaved firewood) with peach, raspberry, and a hint of spice. It's very pleasant, as raspberry and wood typically make a good combination. The predominant wood dry down is decidedly clean, earthy, and alluring.

          Overall, Victoria's Secret Body by Victoria Eau de Parfum is a relaxed feminine scent that would wear well for day and evening use. I can see that the fruity floral notes appealing to a wide range of pink fragrance lovers. The musk, and bare wood notes add a little intrigue and sexiness to the scent. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Body By Victoria Eau de Parfum in stores? What are your favorite Victoria's Secret Scents? Do you have any favorite everyday pink scents?

Love, Dovey.

 *Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Lip Tar review + swatches: Hush, Memento, and Anime

         With Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) coming soon to Sephora, I thought it would be a great time to review the OCC Lip Tars I have in my collection. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is a brand that has been gaining a good bit of steam this year. Like many, my first taste (quite literally) of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics were the OCC Lip Tars. Today I have a review and swatches of OCC Lip Tars in Hush, Memento, and Anime.

          The OCC Lip tars are liquid and packaged in squeeze tubes. I have an older version of the packaging where the nozzles are shaped as applicators. The caps are larger and white. As you can see below, it can get pretty messy when you squeeze, or let it sit cap-less. The newer versions have small tube-like nozzles that aren't designed for direct lip application.The newer versions are more practical since these products are best applied with a brush and not directly from the tube.

          The OCC Lip Tars are liquid, but thankfully not tar-like (a.k.a sticky) at all. They're runnier and thinner than a gloss and have amazing opacity and pigmentation. You only need to smallest drop to work onto your lips.Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics recommends using a brush to apply the lip tars and I'd have to agree. You can get away without one for the lightest colors, but brushes are a must for the medium and brighter tones. The lip tars have a nice minty taste too.

          The Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tars I have are Hush, Memento, and Anime. I've swatched all three below. OCC Memento is described as a midtone pink/plum. I would say it's a pretty light rosy pink. OCC Anime is described as a seriously neon pink. It's pretty spot on. OCC Hush is described as a pale bridal pink. It's a very pale pink with a hint of peach.

          Overall, I think all three colors I have are beautiful in their own right. The OCC Lip Tars have great pigmentation, opacity, and light texture. However, because they are liquid, a brush is required for precision application. As an animal lover, I have to say it's great seeing a quality product from a cruelty free and vegan company. Bravo. Have you tried OCC Lip Tars or anything else from OCC? What colors do you have or are you eyeing?

Love, Dovey.